Your sleep pattern can affect how you go about your day. Find out more about yours.
Are you not getting enough sleep every day? Has been it been difficult for you to fall asleep at night? Or do you feel really energetic the moment you wake up but the energy dips down as the day passes by? You're not alone. Almost all of us go through the same problems when it comes to sleep.
According to some experts, it's because of the weird workings of our inner body clock. Each of us can be divided into four categories called the sleep chronotype. Understanding your sleep chronotype can also help you perform better in your day to day activities.
What are chronotypes?
We can agree that no one person is similar to the other. So, it is understandable that our habits and energies would vary as well. This is where chronotype comes in. It is an individual's tendency to fall asleep and wake up, as per Healthline.
Eva Cohen, a sleep coach says, “Knowing your chronotype may help you understand how your internal clock works and how you can synchronize it with your daily activities and duties to use your time most efficiently."
American sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus in his blog post says, "Our biological clock is influenced by the presence of bright light and more specifically, the production of melatonin. But not everybody falls asleep when the sun goes down—chronotypes are the explanation for some people tending to stay up till the sun rises and others nodding off on the couch before ever even making it to their bed."
And so Dr. Breus has categorized people under four sleep chronotypes and the ways each type can better their sleep:
50% of people fall under this category who wake up and sleep according to the sun. They usually don't face any problems with falling asleep or waking up. They are very active during the daylight and feel a little low post-lunch between 2 p.m to 4 p.m.
Optimization- Avoid having caffeine after lunch as it takes 12 hours to get eliminated from the body. Train your body to wake up at the same time every day as it will improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
People falling under this chronotype are early risers. That would be 15-20% of human beings. They are very energetic during early hours but keep losing energy as the day passes. As they wake up early, they like sleeping early as well, usually by 9 p.m or 10 p.m.
Optimization- A 20 minute-nap before 3 p.m can help boost your productivity for the whole day. Don't forget to take a small caffeinated drink before the power nap.
People under dolphin chronotype usually find it difficult to follow any sleep pattern. They are light sleepers and can get easily disturbed by the slightest of sound. Falling asleep and waking up is always a struggle for them but they are most productive between 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Only 10% of people fall under this category.
Optimization- Avoid screentime before you go to sleep because you must prepare your mind to sleep before your body. Using dark curtains, switching off bright LED lights, eye masks and earplugs are your best bets. Also, say no to alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bedtime.
These are the nocturnal being who stay up late at night and sleep in late as well. They cannot wake up in the morning as they are more energetic at night. 15-20% of people fall under this type where they feel their energy boost up only around 6 p.m.
Optimization- Ultra caffeinated drinks in the morning can help boost the day but avoid them in the evenings. Getting natural light can also help awaken the body clock. Light and a little bit of exercise are great for the wolves.
How does understanding your sleep chronotype help?
According to a study, it helps you understand your body better and when it sleeps. One review found out that there is a relationship between chronotype, diet, and cardiometabolic health and so it helps in being aware of what you eat. Another review found that there is a connection between sleep and mental health as chronotype helps you find out how much time you spend sleeping and the time you spend on your thoughts.
According to Dr. Breus identifying your sleep chronotype can help you figure out how to use your energy in an optimal way throughout the day. "Working against your natural wiring, as much as it might seem advantageous in a given moment, is not productive," he says and adds, "Understanding your personal circadian clock (and how it operates) can help you get rejuvenating sleep at night and lead a happy, healthy life."
To find out your sleep chronotype, click here.